1996 GMC C1500 - My Hero
Not All Firemen Drive Red Trucks
Everyone knows firemen like red trucks, but for firefighter Tim Heroman of Pride, Louisiana, even Fire Engine Red proved to be too ordinary. Working diligently in his off time with good buddy Josh Turner, jump-starting their side business Karport Kustoms, the two did all of the work themselves, save for the airbrushing, paint, and suspension. After three years of hard work, what has resulted is this laid-out,loud, PPG Leaf Green '96 GMC with Cobalt Blue tribal graphics gently licking the rockers.
It didn't take long for Tim's ride to turn the heads of the Truckin' staff. We spotted Tim and his truck at the Texas Heat Wave, only the second show he had ever attended with his newly finished creation. Anxious to share the quality craftsmanship of this highly detailed 'rail-dragger for our readers, we quickly snatched up Tim to bring you this page-turning pleasure.
The first order of business was to get the stock C1500 show-low. Tim sent the truck to Premier Concepts of White Castle, Louisiana, for some frame and suspension surgery. When the truck came out of the operating room, it was sporting a C-notch frame with Firestone airbags at each corner, damped by Edelbrock shocks on custom mounts. Six converted fire apparatus air pack tanks, capable of holding 3,000 psi each, fill the deep-breathing lungs of the air suspension and provide the 10 inches of total articulation over its Center Line Voltage 20x8.5-inch rims wrapped in P245/40R20 Yokohama rubber,
Under the hood resides a stock 4.3L V-6 with a Power Master 240-amp alternator and dual Red Top Optima batteries, the second mounted on a diesel dual-battery tray. Enough power is provided to the truck to ensure no blackouts disrupt the fun while the tunes are flowing
Walking around the truck, you are hard-pressed to find anything that disturbs the smooth lines. Along with the taillights, third brake light, and the door and tailgate handles, the fuel door and tailgate body lines have been shaved. The filler neck is now located under the bed, and the rear bumper was given the Jaws of Life treatment and replaced with a Sir Michaels roll pan, incorporating new tails. Once the bodywork was completed, Tim had the crew at Premier Concepts turn their spray nozzles loose applying the PPG Leaf Green paint throughout the truck. Applied to the rockers and adding to the fun are the Cobalt Blue tribals, outlined in Lime Green, with a Silver accenting line running through the flames.
To meet Tim's standards, the factory mirrors were tossed in favor of some Maltese cross mirrors, straight out of a motorcycle catalog. The mirrors were custom-mounted to diamond-plated mounts that were fabricated. Up front, a billet grille provides the backdrop for the skull grille overlay, giving the image some depth. And while some builders ignore the look of the bed by hiding it under a lid, Tim decided to go all out, arguably turning the bed into the most interesting part of the truck's exterior. With polished fire engine-grade diamond-plate bed sides in place and looking good, the C-notch and upper shock mounts were painted to match the exterior, while the six air tanks showcased at the front of the bed lend a look of function and purpose.
The craftsmanship turned inward as Tim custom-fabricated new door panels and dash pieces, which were painted to match the exterior, featuring glassed-in skulls. Keith Gregoire at Keith's Paint & Body of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was selected to airbrush the details onto the skulls. Once again, the exterior theme was brought inward with polished diamond-plate inserts accenting the cab and matching the bed detailing. The stock steering wheel didn't make it through the improvements and was replaced with a piece from Billet Accessories Direct (BAD). Recessed in the passenger side of the dash, a Sony PlayStation 2 unit can be found, thoughtfully installed within reach of the number-two man, while an overhead Luxma 11.5-inch LCD screen drops down to display the occupant's entertainment of choice. Tim chose gray tweed for the upholstery, with a contrasting blue tweed headliner for added flavor.
Sounds are provided by a bevy of Pioneer Audio pieces, including the head unit, six 5.25-inch mids, and two 6x9-inch highs. Moving the Recaro seats forward reveals a massive ported enclosure built by Tim himself, which features four 12-inch Audiobahn subs and dual Audiobahn 2300 high-current amps. All of these components work together to blast out 6,000 watts of eardrum-rupturing thump.
Tim's truck is definitely worthy of our praise, and others agree. At the few shows that Tim has been able to attend since finishing his truck, he has already won two awards, including First Place at Lamar Dixon. Tim says he could have never gotten it done without the support of his lovely fiance Margeaux Edgens and his good friend Josh Turner. In fact, Tim and Josh are currently busy working on their next project, Josh's '92 GMC extended cab. With great work like this coming out of Karport Kustoms, you can bet you'll be seeing more of them in the pages of Truckin'. The future sure looks bright for these young builders, but we'll look forward to the day they build up that tricked-out fire engine, in Fire Engine Red paint and sporting flames, of course.